Our business officially turned 3 on September 1st (we did it just to make sure it will remain an important date even after the kids finish school), so I figured it's a good a time as any for a little bit of reflection (and cake. Of course there was cake. We are not ones to miss out on a perfectly good cake-excuse).
We formally opened the business in Ireland just before covid, war and whatever-crisis-we-are-having-now hit, add to that a move to Dublin (during the worst-housing-crisis-to-hit-Ireland), 2 kids to settle into new schools (twice, as our youngest moved to secondary last year), and sprinkle a little lack of available funds, and you get our last three years - or as we like to call them - a good reason for comfort-cake.
When we were just starting out I read a Facebook post (which gave me a few good sleepless nights) about how irresponsible it is for people in their 40s, who have a family to support, to leave "proper" employment and gamble it all on a business of their own, and true, it really has not been the easiest of starts, but at the same time it has been the right decision for us both personally and professionally, and it gave us exactly what we wanted - maximum flexibility, freedom, and personal & professional growth, thrown together with extremely high levels of stress, crazy working hours, and constant uncertainty & change - basically the constant rollercoaster we love and live for.
When we started we (well obviously it was Hidai) talked to anyone and everyone we could find that had their own business to get some tips, pointers, anything that might help. They all said the same 2 things - it takes time and the hardest part is the constant pitching.
Well, luckily for us Hidai loves pitching (well to be honest he loves all aspects of talking to other people) and his dream was that people will pay to listen to him talk.
But what we learned very quickly was that there is nothing harder than selling "yourself" (which is why all normal people hate pitching) and that it does take time.
And though we were a tad bit cocky at the beginning and thought we can prove everyone wrong, it turns out it does takes time. It takes time to have a defined list of services and unique selling points, to perfect the pitch (which in reality is never prefect), to learn how to market the business & yourself, to find good clients, to have a steady(ish) income.
It also takes good people in your corner, because it can be a little lonely, because it is always good to have someone else who likes doing all the bits you hate, because when you're just starting there is so much you don't know you don't know, a good team around you makes all the difference.
And mostly because it's always good to have someone you need to be accountable to (Candy Crush all day? who, ME??? Never!).
Because this post has to have a lovey-dovey photo
I never thought of myself as the "successful business owner" type (who am I kidding, I never even thought of myself as just the "regular business owner" type), and these last three years have forced me to take huge steps, way out of my comfort zone. They have been nothing short of a (very) steep learning curve.
I can finish this post with a joke as I usually do, or by saying that my main lesson is to make sure I always have enough chocolate in the house, which is true (if a bit too predictable), but since it is a birthday celebration, and since the business is actually doing well, (and mostly since Hidai is going to proof read this text and he keeps telling me to write more positive things about us) I wanted to end with something positive, or motivational, or thought provoking.
And since Hidai is a fan of these kind of things, I have so many really great motivational quotes, sports analogies, songs lyrics to choose from.
But I do have a reputation to uphold. 😊